Grade 1 consolidation - 8 songs in AVOYP

I spent this period of 3-months (April 2023 - June 2023) practicing playing some songs after finishing the modules in Grade 1 of JG. This is my consolidation of G1 step and I’ll probably work a bit more on these songs over the next month and then move onto G2. I learned about 8-songs with the JG song lessons, app, songbook, and some additional YouTube tutorials. This is also posted under my learning log.

Things I’m still struggling with are clean and fast chord transitions, obviously cleanly picking out the right notes in riffs I’ve been learning, picking fast and in general playing fast enough to keep up with the pace of songs, generally keeping time and the correct rhythym while singing and playing. I’ve also noticed that I’m sometimes hitting the the body of the guitar under the strings on some of my strumming. It’s super noticeable to me now and is annoying me! I think I read on a community thread a while ago someone else was having this problem but I can’t find that thread now.

Things I’m happy with are that I’m pleased with the overall progress I’ve made. I couldn’t even hold a guitar in October! I’ve pushed myself to learn some note picking pieces of songs as well as the strumming. While I find it hard to keep the rhythm of the song while singing it feels more natural now than it did. I’m learning not to be a perfectionist with this stuff as that kills the enjoyment pretty quick! I feel I’ve grown a whole other level of appreciation of music, musicians, and those that play and create music.

I know this is a super long video. The songs are broken up at the following time points. Thank you to anyone that takes the time to check it out and provide any feedback!

0:00 Introduction 00:45 “Hey Joe” Jimmi Hendrix 02:58 “Wish you were here” Pink Floyd 06:45 “Times like these” Foo Fighters 08:04 “Black” Pearl Jam 11:17 “Wagon wheel” Old Crow Medicine Show 15:05 “Yellow submarine” The Beatles 16:39 “This year’s love” David Gray 18:40 “Common People” Pulp 20:31 “Pirate looks at 40” Jimmy Buffet - fingerstyle 22:00 “Pirate looks at 40” Jimmy Buffet - easy strum


Andrew, did I just listen to one or the other odd Grade 2 song? I’m looking at you " Wish you were here" :slightly_smiling_face:

I guess as a fellow Beginner Grade 1 player, I can comment, to some extent at least. And… In my ears, you sounded good your strumming sounded relaxed and consistent for the most part. The only song that stuck out to me for some reason was " Yellow submarine", where your singing maybe sometimes sounded a bit off key. It’s obviously really difficult to sing, and I never liked the song much, so it might be just me :slightly_smiling_face:

I especially liked “Black” and the Jimmy Buffett song. With “Black” you have some serious Eddie Vedder vibe ongoing in your singing :slightly_smiling_face: I liked the strumming version of the Jimmy Buffett song better and would have wanted your rendition to last longer. I didn’t know the song, but it sounded beautiful. That’s definitely a song I will take a look at myself.

Last but not least: I think you are ready to move on to Grade 2. I wish I could be as patient as you with my Grade 1 consolidation :slightly_smiling_face: I’ll definitely take a look at your Learning Log.

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Thank you so much! Yeah that Yellow Submarine is a bit cringe to listen to back! But I did enjoy playing with the different timing of that song. And it reminds me of being a kid and my kids do like that song! So I gave it a go!

I’m a long way off my fingerstyle. But the strumming version is very approachable on that Jimmy Buffer song. And it’s pretty simple chords. I think it’s a D7 instead of a true D but that’s all. Thanks again for the feedback!!

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D7 :sunglasses:. No problem then. Now I know what I will do when I come home from work this evening. Thank you so much for giving me inspiration. That’s just what I needed to start practicing more consolistently on work days as well. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi Andy, well done sir! Despite you commenting that you’d pushed yourself in note picking I was still surprised at the beginning of Hey Joe!! WYWH is a smasher to play and you’ve got that one really nicely sorted, you can tell the time you’ve put into that one.
Assuming you’ve done the video in the sequence you recorded it felt like you got more comfortable as you progressed through the songs and shows the benefit of proper warming up!
The only real piece of advice I’d offer is perhaps a focus on getting that “flow” with your strumming, you’ve had it in a good few of these and it’ll come with practice. FWIW I’m giving you a big thumbs up to get cracking with grade 2 go for it and have fun!!

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Hello Andy,

Enjoyed looking at your progress mate.

Firstly, there’s alot to be proud of there after 8-9 , months playing. Seriously. Not that its a competition, but I’d say some of the skills you are diplaying are probably above average for that length of time.

Your feel for rhythm is pretty good I reckon. The fingers will often lag behind your inner feel at the moment unfortunately - just the way it is - but over time they’ll progressively catch up.

I’ll just comment on one song. Others are coming along fine too though. :+1:
Wish You Were Here is one of my all time favourites, and for sub 12 months, that was a splendid job. Its a deceptively difficult song, certainly not a beginner song. The 16th note strumming, and picking single strings out on the fly is not easy, and its just going to take a while to get it going rhythmicaly and tight. For where you’re at though, you’re well on your way I reckon. Chord changes will just get better with focused practice and time. You’ve sort of got that 16th note feel going OK , and the single picking is coming along well.
Going to be a exciting period for you coming up I reckon.
All the best.

Cheers Shane

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You are going brilliantly - inspiring. I have just started and you are fantastic.

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Hi Andy. From not being able to hold a guitar in October to being able to do what you’ve done in the video is an awesome achievement mate… different strum patters played consistently for the most part, (and also picking), all done with singing.
Keep doing what you are doing because it’s obviously working really well for you. Congrats on your learning journey so far.

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Hey Andy, I still remember your first Vlog that you posted in your learning log. That was a great idea to record your progress as it gives you a mechanism to see what your doing well and what you need to work on. Your making superb progress mate. The clean and fast chord transitions will just click into place over time practicing perfect fast chord changes. Likewise the picking of the riffs will develop the more you practice. As for keeping the correct rhythm when playing and singing, once you have the guitar part automated and foot tapping it will all just flow. As for hitting the body of the guitar when strumming maybe try just sitting down sometime with strings muted gliding the pick slowly up and down. It might just be the angle of attack. Justin’s strumming course may be worth exploring. All in all I think you’re doing really well and as @sclay says it will all just click into place if you keep on practicing. Really well done mate.

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Hello Andy, I’ve nothing but encouraging words for you :star_struck:. 8 songs at the end of grade 1 is fantastic, even if some are still work in progress, but that’s already a really fine repertoire. And not just playing but also singing (very nice voice btw :smiley:) is very remarkable. And some songs are definitely above grade 1. I was really impressed by your Hey Joe-intro and Wish you were here :+1::clap: .

You’ve made great progress, and I think, it really paid off to spend some time consolidating before moving on.

I wish you lots of fun at grade 2 :smiley:.
Keep up the good work :+1:.

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Thank you for the feedback to those who have checked this video out and responded. I really appreciate the time this community takes to support one another and give encouragement and tips. It’s truly one of the amazingly good things about the internet age that something like this exists… it’s not always positive out there on the web but communities like this one are really special. I spend most of my time playing by myself so am often left wondering how the progress is going and what others in a similar place in the learning process are going through and having both people at similar levels and those with much higher ability levels giving feedback is immensely helpful and encouraging.

@JokuMuu I’ve enjoyed learning a little about your own journey. Thanks for your own sharing. I also appreciate your honest impressions of my Yellow Submarine number!!

@Notter you are always very active on here I’ve seen your comments on loads of posts and your encouragement and advice are always very much appreciated.

@sclay Thank you for your kind words and encouragement! You are right that my fingers just lag behind - I’m still having to think too much about the movement and placement of fingering - it’s not quite instinctual yet. But I definitely feel like I am improving.

@IvanWilson Thank you. And good luck with your own journey!

@Dro_1 Thank you - yes I’ve really paid attention to Justin’s lessons on rhythm and what an important factor that is for music and especially the guitar. I tried to incorporate the different rhythms that were featured in various songs in Grade 1 and work on them.

@Socio Thank you for the feedback. I will still continue to practice fast chord changes. I’ve noticed it definitely helps to know the guitar piece super well. You need to be able to be on autopilot for the strumming and changes to then be able to focus on the singing. I feel like some of my rhythms are off sometimes but if you time it with the singing it can still sound ok - but if you were ever to play it with others that is the point where it would deteriorate. The JG strumming course might be a good fit for me at some point. Maybe I’ll check out some of G2 and see how that goes and then look into the strumming course as well. I’ve also heard the ear training and theory are good courses to check out as well. So much to learn!

@NicoleKKB Thank you Nicole. I know you are also a very active member of the community and your input is very valuable for us all. I enjoyed seeing your pictures of your holiday to Croatia getting to play by the sea at sunset! Isn’t that what it’s really all about?! I recently took a camping trip up to the mountains near where I live and actually played a bit of guitar around a campfire! That’s always been the dream!

Lastly, through this whole process I feel like I’m also learning singing for the first time too. And that’s a whole other thing! I can listen to my recordings back and definitely hear what sounds decent and what is a bit cringey. It’s oddly more personal to hear your singing voice than your guitar playing!

Peace and love all.


Well done Andy, that is really good stuff for such a short time of playing guitar. Nice selection of songs as well. Also, singing and playing at this stage…nice.

Just keep on doing what you are doing, as you are progressing nicely.

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I am sure we all have cringe worthy attempts. lol Way to go, I can’t imagine trying to record 8 songs in one go! I will stick to 1 now and then. Yes, I am not as brave as you. I Particularly liked Wish You Were Here. I’d love to be able to play that as well as you!

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As someone who’s also just completed Grade 1, I’m not qualified to give any proper feedback but everything sounded and looked pretty good to me. I’m seriously impressed that you can also sing along while playing. I’ve tried it a couple of times but just couldn’t do it.

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